From Pipi’s Pasture: Two skunks and a deer
Considering that there are lots of barn cats, skunks, deer—and even a raccoon once in awhile-here at Pipi’s Pasture, there’s always lots of animal activity. Each time I tell people some of the stories about the animals they say, “Well, now you have something to write about.” Indeed! This has been the summer of stories about two skunks and a deer.
Deer love to eat flowers and garden vegetables (such as my green bell pepper plants that I wrote about previously). Contrary to belief, deer do eat marigolds—at least my marigolds—but they really like petunias.
This spring when I filled my flower pots with little petunia plants, I was thinking about my daughter-in-law Cindy’s big wooden planting tubs in her front yard. The petunia blossoms are absolutely stunning. I was planting in much smaller pots, but I envisioned the pink and white flowers to come, and, sure enough, in less than a month I was enjoying the beautiful blossoms—until the deer came along, that is. On the same day the doe ate my pepper, she finished off the petunias, too.
Stupidly, I hadn’t sprayed the flowers with my yucky-smelling animal repellant yet so after that I faithfully sprayed the petunias. It worked for awhile, but then it didn’t seem that the deer paid any attention. So, I did something that I’ve never done before; I covered the petunias with a sheet every night, just as I do for frost. That seemed to work.
Then a couple of weeks ago, I uncovered the petunias on my way back to the house from morning chores. I admired the petunias. I felt positively smart for fooling the deer. I came in the house, finished some chores, and sat down to write. I noticed the deer eating lilac leaves in the backyard. A little later, I found that she had eaten off every petunia blossom.
Then there are the skunks. At first, there were three skunks, a big one and two smaller (perhaps babies) skunks. Now there’s mostly one. I know that I’m responsible for the skunks coming up on the porch because I feed the cats. However, taking the feed in at night is not the answer. The skunks are apt to be on the porch at any time of the day.
The skunks don’t eat the petunias or the peppers, but they dig in the pots. I have lost two pots of pansies to the skunks. They don’t seem to mind sheets, either. They crawl right under them.
I shoo the skunks; they are slow in scurrying away. So far, I haven’t been sprayed, but it’s just a matter of time. A story about our grandson Kenny and a skunk will have to wait until next time.
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